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View Full Version : Wilding / free camping and Local Laws



Garcia
27-12-2013, 16:31
So .....
How do we feel about deliberately breaking local laws against free parking/camping??
It's obvious that many of these local laws are designed with summer seasons in mind, but if the sign says no MHs ...would you still stay and hope you don't get moved on???
If you don't get moved on, does that means it's OK to stay???
On the seafront at FUZETA on the Algarve. The signs clearly say no caravans / motorhomes outside of tthe official camp site, yet there are at least half a dozen that have obviously been in the seafront car parks overnight...Maybe many nights for all I know.
I've checked on to the official , so called, 3 star site!!!! It's not that good and expensive by Algarve low season standards(and you cannot even get internet at your Pitch!!! Irritating in the 21st century! )
So we won't be stopping, but had to meet up with friends who have an appartment so will stay a night or 2.
Should I have just said ....sod it???park for free and move on!!! But then I don't fancy being moved on after a bevvy or 2.....perhaps in the middle of the night, and maybe I was just brought up as "law abiding". So if the sign says "don't".........you don't !!!! ,
What's your thoughts???
Garcia

Sky
27-12-2013, 16:36
In the UK I would stay and argue the toss.

In a foreign country I will always do as I'm told - the language barrier can cause all sorts of problems. :confused:

Tbear
27-12-2013, 16:44
I,m with Sky. Don,t like the idea of a foreign Jail

Richard

molly 2
27-12-2013, 17:40
Has anyone actually been done, if so what were the penalty

dave and mary
27-12-2013, 17:47
I was stopped and breathalysed when we down in the Algarve, that was quite scary enough for me thanks so I would not chance it.


:drive: :drive:

shawbags
27-12-2013, 17:57
In the UK you can argue the toss as many people are doing more and more and rightly so , as already said over there you have to be careful , if the police don't like your attitude they can cause you all kinds of trouble , its not like the UK , some foreign police will kick your ass , be careful , keep your head down and find little hide aways were you will not be noticed, Shawbags.

steveuk0
27-12-2013, 18:06
personally I keep my head down and park discretely where ever I am be it uk or Europe.
If you park on the sea front with a long line of other vans its always going to upset someone.
Ive always parked just out of main areas and cycled in, the only down side is no view whilst sat relaxing in your portable lounge :)
Steve

n brown
27-12-2013, 18:23
iŽd stay if i needed to,and ignore the signs.i see them as assistance for the cops in the season,but find the cops are usually sensible enough to ignore them in the interests of the local economy off season. i certainly wouldnŽt be in the area when its busy ! anyway the fear of being moved on is often more of an impediment than actually getting moved on . if it does happen,stay polite and respectful,and try to persuade them to let you have one night-all part of the crack !

kenspain
27-12-2013, 18:44
Take it from me in Spain if the police tell you to move then move you can be fined 120 euros if you don't,:wave: That's from the officer sitting at our table now:tongue:

Arnie373
27-12-2013, 19:33
I have wild camped now in the Uk but prior to that I was living in Germany and believe me when I say if the local sign says no camping. I wouldn't.. I have tried it in Spain and France. To my financial loss ....

n brown
27-12-2013, 19:44
OF Course i move when asked !,i just like to test the waters ! be a funny old place if we all did as weŽre told,especially after being on this forum and finding that a lot of signs have no lega standing whatsoever,maybe some local councillor helping out his campsite owning brother in law. all laws need to be tested .when i was younger and dumber iŽd have an argument with a man with a gun,now i just burst into tears

johnkyte
27-12-2013, 20:23
Why do I think that a sign that says "NO PARKING"" etc has no legal standing unless it states Who says so???

My brother ,wild camping in Spain along with several others was ,at midnight ,ordered to move ,by the local police------who whispered to all of the Brits there, to come back in an hour. It was some from central Europe they wanted gone

barryd
27-12-2013, 20:37
Hi Garcia. Nice to see you on here!

If it says no motorhomes or a picture of a motorhome with a cross through it I tend to obey it in Europe but no camping signs I think are considered different as certainly in the likes of France, Italy and Germany no camping does not include parking a motorhome overnight.

We discovered this quite early on in France. Also last year in Halstatsee in Austria we found a superb car park near the lake with a No Camping or Caravans sign. A local told us it didnt mean us so we stopped a couple of nights. No bother.

Cant speak for Portugal or Spain but certainly the Spanish Police seem to be renound for doing what they like and dont expect any flak. There should be plenty of alternitives. Have you consulted any of the online aires guides like CAMPINGCAR-INFOS (http://www.campingcar-infos.com?)

n brown
27-12-2013, 20:51
we once spent 5 idyllic weeks on the banks of a beautiful lake by the Gorge de Verdun ,not far from the Camping Sauvage Interdit sign,maybe 50 vans,but a massive place,loadsaroom !well worth a 2 am rousting by Les Flics !and no ,there was NO conversation,just ALLEZ ! (are you warm Ken ?,bit mizzy here )

runnach
27-12-2013, 21:03
If in UK, I would argue the toss, if France, I would let missus argue the toss, as it is her country, if else where, I'd use my enviable charm :)

kenspain
28-12-2013, 06:07
we once spent 5 idyllic weeks on the banks of a beautiful lake by the Gorge de Verdun ,not far from the Camping Sauvage Interdit sign,maybe 50 vans,but a massive place,loadsaroom !well worth a 2 am rousting by Les Flics !and no ,there was NO conversation,just ALLEZ ! (are you warm Ken ?,bit mizzy here )

Not bad Mr B sunny but its been very windy the last few days and a lot of rain Christmas day

pochaie
28-12-2013, 07:52
Have been going to the Algarve for the last 3 years staying for about 2 months each time and have (touch wood) never been moved on. I have used common sense and not overstayed my welcome or have asked locals if it's ok to stay a couple of nights. Most people and police speak English on the Algarve and i have so far no problem with the law, just be polite, you are in there country....

wee red bistro
15-01-2014, 19:55
So I'm guessing we have at least one other Dead fan on this forum Garcia, and of an age to get the Blues if one talks about Allah! And a 66 homebase - my part time one.

maxi77
15-01-2014, 21:16
Have been going to the Algarve for the last 3 years staying for about 2 months each time and have (touch wood) never been moved on. I have used common sense and not overstayed my welcome or have asked locals if it's ok to stay a couple of nights. Most people and police speak English on the Algarve and i have so far no problem with the law, just be polite, you are in there country....

The Portuguese are quite tolerant of responsible wild camping, though there are some, mainly expats, who keep complaining. Gypsies, and there are a lot tend to get moved on after 48 hours though there are some permanent camps though they tend to be just out of sight. People have been moved on from Silves and Paderne recently for abusing the facilities according to what I have heard on the grapevine, after residents passed photgraphic evidence to the GNR. There are natural reserve areas where wild camping of any kind is illegal though in the past this has been ignored, but one hears this is being clamped down on, after all the GNR is under very strict orders to increase their income from fines substantially. One of the key areas covered by this is the area around Cape St Vincent. Also beware of the new rules for negotiating roundabouts, the GNR are looking for 60 euros a pop for that one.

As suggested all experience indicates the GNR do treat foreigners with respect and courtesy, and some lenience as they do appreciate the contribution we make to the local economy. Just be polite and cooperate, and remember they all have a gun, though I have never heard of one being drawn.

n brown
15-01-2014, 23:00
The Portuguese are quite tolerant of responsible wild camping, though there are some, mainly expats, who keep complaining. Gypsies, and there are a lot tend to get moved on after 48 hours though there are some permanent camps though they tend to be just out of sight. People have been moved on from Silves and Paderne recently for abusing the facilities according to what I have heard on the grapevine, after residents passed photgraphic evidence to the GNR. There are natural reserve areas where wild camping of any kind is illegal though in the past this has been ignored, but one hears this is being clamped down on, after all the GNR is under very strict orders to increase their income from fines substantially. One of the key areas covered by this is the area around Cape St Vincent. Also beware of the new rules for negotiating roundabouts, the GNR are looking for 60 euros a pop for that one.

As suggested all experience indicates the GNR do treat foreigners with respect and courtesy, and some lenience as they do appreciate the contribution we make to the local economy. Just be polite and cooperate, and remember they all have a gun, though I have never heard of one being drawn.I've seen them drawn and pointed at me,but a long time ago ,not long after the revolution. there's something about having some young ,dumb customs cop pointing an automatic at you,shaking with rage,that really makes you concentrate ! we did end up shaking hands ,so maybe I'm more diplomatic than I think !

Rodeo
16-01-2014, 16:06
FWIW ...Having never been abroad in a campervan, only a car or a trike..my take on this is that its not worth the hassle trying to get round parking rules.I go on holiday for a problem free time and cant be a***d with arguing with authority.

Garcia
17-01-2014, 12:06
So I'm guessing we have at least one other Dead fan on this forum Garcia, and of an age to get the Blues if one talks about Allah! And a 66 homebase - my part time one.

Certainly one dead Head here at least. Ah!!!! You recognised the Avatar methinks. Great album! just working my way thru 2 discs of "Nightfall of Diamonds" whilst sitting out a viscous thunderstorm here on the Algarve.
Garcia

donkey too
17-01-2014, 17:54
Politeness, Call the police person sir, if a cold night ask them in for a coffee (Evening) Bacon sarnie (Morning) and never speak the local lingo.
Also when in small places always ask when doing your shopping where it would be OK to stop overnight. Usually the locals are very nice specially if you are spending money in their establishments.
In Holland, Germany and France find locking places on the large canals they usually tolerate nightly stop overs and have water etc. facilities

shawbags
18-01-2014, 03:57
Politeness, Call the police person sir, if a cold night ask them in for a coffee (Evening) Bacon sarnie (Morning) and never speak the local lingo.
Also when in small places always ask when doing your shopping where it would be OK to stop overnight. Usually the locals are very nice specially if you are spending money in their establishments.
In Holland, Germany and France find locking places on the large canals they usually tolerate nightly stop overs and have water etc. facilities

You should never call a police man sir !! , be polite , call them officer but not sir !! , He is there to serve you , he is not above you ! , sir , I don't think so !!.

big tom
18-01-2014, 08:21
iŽd stay if i needed to,and ignore the signs.i see them as assistance for the cops in the season,but find the cops are usually sensible enough to ignore them in the interests of the local economy off season. i certainly wouldnŽt be in the area when its busy ! anyway the fear of being moved on is often more of an impediment than actually getting moved on . if it does happen,stay polite and respectful,and try to persuade them to let you have one night-all part of the crack !

Best answer, what wild camping is all about have a bit of spirit.

n brown
18-01-2014, 08:28
here's a little known law- if the Portuguese copper who's been tasked to move you on ends up having a few glasses of wine round the campfire on the beach,and passes out,take his gun out of its holster and put it somewhere safe and put a blanket over him ! this only happened once and he woke up crapping himself thinking he'd lost his gun ,went off a happy chap !

Garcia
18-01-2014, 13:39
I'd like to thank all persons for their replies. Interesting views all round.
The original was posted 'cos I was in FUZETA on the Algarve, due to meet some friends staying in an apartment. I guess I should have just joined the 5 or 6 vans on the sea front car park, despite the signs , which were obviously intended to deter summer stopovers. Instead I paid my euros for the official campsite! which was about the most expensive Algarve site I've used,but then, short stays are expensive as you lose the long termer's discounts. It wasn't even a very good site. Had pretentions but was rather rundown and in need of a makeover. Won't do it again.
Have just passed thru Silves and stayed on the Aire (very impressive for 6 euros incl ehu and wifi), but what is staggering about Silves is the sheer quantity of free campers on the Leisure Centre and other car parks. Cannot call it wild camping....what's wild about being in line with a hundred or so other vans ??
Fair enough it was not untidy or dirty in any way!but the continual sound of generators banging away! and standing in line with plastic bottles at a children's water fountain for your freshwater.......no! not for me , I'll pay my 6 € on the Aire!
Wild camping is surely really about being IN the wild, not just stopping for free...!!!
Garcia

n brown
18-01-2014, 13:53
have to agree,the set up at silves is weird,especially as there are loads of good places all round that area,beautiful places too,where you can wildcamp.I went into the aire a couple of weeks ago and was quite impressed,friendly and cheap.do you know there's an aire at Messines just down the road,free ?

Garcia
18-01-2014, 14:22
do you know there's an aire at Messines just down the road,free ?

Yes , we almost went to it, but were told there was literally nothing there....not even a shop....so couldn't see the point...Maybe we'll stay there next time we're near Silves, tho we'll stock up b4 we go!!!
Actually 3 nights was enough for me in Silves. Once you've done the Museum, Castle and Cathedral, there's not a lot else unless the weather's good enough just to hang about.
We de-camped to the "other" "Algarve Motorhomes" site at Falesia beach. Equally impressive , tho a little more pricey at 8Euros.
Weather's turned bad so, sitting in the van it could really be anywhere....!!!???
GARCIA

n brown
18-01-2014, 16:12
3 nights in silves well done mate,first time I went there I was bored by lunchtime ! but there's a couple of lakes there and you can wild camp and have a fire and there's good walks or rides too

Garcia
18-01-2014, 21:23
3 nights in silves well done mate,first time I went there I was bored by lunchtime ! but there's a couple of lakes there and you can wild camp and have a fire and there's good walks or rides too

Actually , that's about right ....if the weather's good I can slob around with the best!
Noodle on the guitar and drink beer.But if the weather's naff, then you gotta go find summit to see and therein't that much in Silves.....so why do all the Motorhomes go there??????????????

n brown
18-01-2014, 21:34
quite simple-because all the others go there ! it's what most people want,loads of other people !

maxi77
18-01-2014, 22:21
3 nights in silves well done mate,first time I went there I was bored by lunchtime ! but there's a couple of lakes there and you can wild camp and have a fire and there's good walks or rides too

In my humble opinion if Silves bore you in a morning then most other place must be instantly boring. We are not at Silves because we are prepared to pay for our comforts though I accept this option is not available to all. The Silves facility exists because the local Junta sees it as good for local businesses but may be forces to close it if some of users do not refrain from abusing the area. Already improper disposal of toilet waste has been photographed by local residents and GNR action has been taken. This is a great shame because the Portuguese are in general a very welcoming and tolerant people which is why we have been coming here for years.

maxi77
18-01-2014, 22:26
Actually , that's about right ....if the weather's good I can slob around with the best!
Noodle on the guitar and drink beer.But if the weather's naff, then you gotta go find summit to see and therein't that much in Silves.....so why do all the Motorhomes go there??????????????

One suspects because it is free. Silves is not wild camping it is a tolerated abuse of a car park mainly because the town needs the off season business.
.

n brown
19-01-2014, 09:58
of course I was joking about poor old Silves,although when I first went there the castle was just some walls,free to wander in ,all the roads were poorly cobbled,and the 'car park' was just some muddy lumpy ground in front of the new library and the old cork factory. but I'd rather go to Portimao !

Sky
19-01-2014, 11:43
quite simple-because all the others go there ! it's what most people want,loads of other people !

Well, being a miserable old git like you; I can't imagine anything worse. That's why I can't stand campsites - far too many noisy and inconsiderate people. All those untrained kids crapping everywhere and far too many noisy dogs.

I'm happy with the rabbits and the foxes, but I've gone for six or seven weeks at a time without seeing or talking to another person - bliss. :)

spigot
20-01-2014, 09:38
therein't that much in Silves.....so why do all the Motorhomes go there??????????????

WHY?,---------Think of Sheep--------(or lemmings)


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